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September 1, 2015

Medium: Heads Will Roll

by Brett Love, posted May 10th 2007 9:00AM
jake weber, patricia arquette(S03E21) It's been a big week for the fine folks over at Medium HQ. Not only are they smack dab in the middle of their big three part finale, but they also got an early renewal from the suits at NBC. It wasn't as early as some shows, but having the network make the announcement before upfronts is still a nice vote of confidence. Now, hopefully they'll move the show back to Monday and give it that post Heroes slot next season.

But enough about renewals and scheduling. We have the next to last episode from season three to talk about. In a nutshell, I thought it moved both the Joe story, and the Paxton/Debra/Allison story, along very well. Unfortunately, it also suffered from a couple of problems. First, one way too long, and unnecessary, scene. And second, one missing character.

I'm speaking of the Deal Or No Deal dream. Corporate synergy is a tricky bit of business. Occasionally it makes for a clever tie-in, or a casting coup that wouldn't have otherwise been possible. On the other hand, sometimes it saddles a show with a weight that just slows the momentum of an episode to a standstill. And that's what Howie did. We were all already suspicious of Debra. We really didn't need the big reveal of her as the evil banker to get us pointed in that direction. Even if we did, the guessing of the cases was far too long. Really, the only thing good I can say about that entire scene is that they managed to get #10 Anya on the screen again, and that is never a bad thing.

Perhaps if we hadn't had to sit through that, we would have had time to get that missing character on screen. Remember Walter Paxton? He was really important last week. I could have gone for some indication with regards to what he is up to. Given the dreams that Allison was having, I'm still liking him as the Recapitator (worst super-hero ever). Even if by some strange twist he isn't the Recapitator, it would have been good to throw him out there to keep the story in play.

So, those were my two issues with the episode. Aside from that, I was right on board with the rest of it. I really like how Joe's story is playing out. His dream of his dead father was a good way to start the show. And it is good to see that he is coming to grips with what happened, even if it does come with some confusion over what to do next. It's an interesting conundrum Joe faces, and I thought they got his reaction just right given what we have come to know about him.

He listened to what the lawyer had to say, but naturally came to the defense of Aerodytech. Joe's a loyal guy, and he likes the life that he has, so it makes sense that he would want to protect it. I think Marcus almost had the whole deal sealed. Joe was right there with him, right up until he handed over the "standard form" releasing Aerodytech from any liability. There's loyal, and then there is being disrespected. Of course that was going to give Joe pause.

It was also nice to see Joe get things back on track with Allison. She's got her hands full and really needs him right now. You really felt for Allison this week. Over the past three seasons we've seen her go through a lot. But this time, it's really piling on. Recurring dreams about a serial killer. Her new friend has been jerking her around the entire time. Devalos is going to lose his D.A. gig (in black and white even), and I'm assuming she's following him right out the door. Her secret is going to be out for everyone to hear. How will that affect the girls? It's a lot to deal with.

I'm going to use all of those various stresses as the reasoning for how Allison didn't see through Debra's ruse. There were certainly signs. And she does have plenty of pals that could have looked into it for her. For her part, I thought Neve Campbell was very good in the role. Both the scene where Allison confided in her, and the confrontation at the end were excellent. It was such a crushing scene for Allison as Debra told her that she hopes she gets the mental health help she needs.

5 out of 7They gave away where that part of the story is headed in the previews, but I still can't wait to see the fallout. And there is still that whole Recapitator case to wrap up. Is everyone still betting on Paxton? In the conservatory? With a rusty hacksaw? With two thirds of it in the books, I have to say that I am really enjoying the Medium season finale. This one stumbled with the the Deal Or No Deal bit, but it does set us up for a great finish next week. I'm giving it a 5, out of 7.

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Karen M

I'm thinking that Neve will almost get murdered, but they'll catch the recapitator in time. Neve will be forced to admit there's something to this psychic stuff, apologize profusely to Allison, and completely withdraw her expose. So, of course the press hounding Allison thing was a dream. (Wasn't it in black and white?)

May 11 2007 at 8:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I kept waiting for a bloody head to be in one of the Deal cases.

May 10 2007 at 5:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ooh, do you think they really will kill Debra, Betty? Or maybe they will catch the killer in the act and he will admit Debra really WAS supposed to be victim #4 but he had to rearrange the schedule because of all that pesky police protection. She will become a believer and succumb to a deep depression for screwing Allison's life up so abominably.

As for Deal or No Deal, it was especially annoying for those who already saw the clip of that scene a few weeks earlier. I couldn't bear to sit through it again so I flipped to another channel, and of course missed part of the show when I didn't flip back fast enough. ::sigh::

May 10 2007 at 5:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with all of your points, Brett. I agree also with La Di Dah that we need more Scanlon. I couldn't believe we saw him twice and he didn't have any lines either time - I was thinking, WTF? Finally he spoke!

I really enjoyed seeing Joe's Dad again - so glad they keep bringing him back.

Now that you mention it, where was Walter Paxton? I still think he has something to do with this, he just seems evil.

We may find out that the press following Allison is merely a dream - I hope so anyway. The last time we saw her shooting someone, it was a dream as well. Can't wait for Debra, PD, or whatever she calls herself today to be killed.

May 10 2007 at 3:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am thoroughly enjoying this three part arc. I got so into the show, that when it ended I was left wanting more. Can't wait until next week, to see how this season ends. And I am very happy that its been renewed for next year. I just hope they put it back on Monday nights again.

I liked the "Deal or no Deal" segment. I don't watch that show, but it was kinda fun to see Allison doing that. My only complaint was the same scream used over and over got really annoying. I was hoping she would get the money!

May 10 2007 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I could not agree more that the Deal or No Deal was too long, too tacked on, and too unnecessary. I love that Joe and Allison are back! He's speaking too her again. While I didn't miss Paxton, I would love more of Scanlon and the kids. And Neve Campbell played the knife-in-the-back well, with a couple of hints throughout the episode. Allison doesn't know everything: she gets messages from the dead's point of view; Joe helps her sort through her dreams and piece things together; she's stressed; she's never really a girlfriend that she clicks with (without getting vibes from them) - all these add up to set Allison up but good.

May 10 2007 at 9:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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